Freedom Means Water

The right to water is a basic human right, it is unarguably a necessity to our lives. Canada contains a full one fifth of the world’s freshwater which is fantastic. It does mean though that there is no reason for people to be deprived of freshwater in our country, and yet there are.

Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation is a community of 553 people spanning across the Manitoba and Ontario borders.

Shoal Lake No. 40 in relation to the city of Winnipeg

Shoal Lake No. 40 (pinned) in relation to the city of Winnipeg

Over a hundred years ago construction on an aqueduct to send clean water to Winnipeg began and resulted in the reserve being cut of from the mainland. There is no permanent road to the community, requiring residents to use a ferry in the summer (here described as a aging barge) or ice roads in the winter. These winter roads are unreliable, every year resulting in people falling through the ice, sometimes dying.

This aqueduct continues to provide the city of Winnipeg with reliably clean drinking water, however the residents of Shoal Lake are left with dirty, undrinkable water. The community has been on a boil-water advisory for over seventeen years.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 a walk was held in Winnipeg to raise awareness for this issue and to support the proposed “Freedom Road”. Freedom Road is a proposed permanent all-weather road to be built from the Shoal Lake community allowing residents not only to be able to travel back and forth from home safely, but also for garbage to be removed to the mainland and making the hoped for water treatment plant a more affordable project. Freedom Road is a $30 million project and the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba have both pledged to support the project in a three way split but the federal government has not yet agreed to support the project.

This project, this road, is a life and death situation for many people. Water is unarguably a human right and there are people in our country who do not have access to that right. This should not be a question, this should not be put on the back-burner, this should be dealt with. It’s time to bridge the murky water we have left Shoal Lake No. 40 in. It’s time for a Freedom Road.

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Irrationally Optmistic? We’ll see…

Spring is simply springing into view! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) The weather this week has be GLORIOUS, today it was about +9C!! I like to think that spring is actually here but my inner sceptic says, “Becky, this is Winnipeg, weather is never certain” and I am reminded of this lovely pie chart I once saw on tumblr…

Today.

The sad thing is I know it’s so true, I’ve heard in Winnipeg some of our hgihest levels of snow precipitation come in March.

However, living in the moment, IT’S FANTASTIC! The snow is melting so fast you can nearly see the piles shrinking and the temperature is ideaaaaaal. I am a picky temperature person, I don’t like very hot or very cold, I like mild. -10C to +15C is about my perfect range, anything higher or lower is getting uncomfortable. This week has been a dream friends.

On the way home we saw geese for the first time this year. I’m torn by this because I hate geese, however if they’re returning it’s a general sign that spring is on its way… My ride back into the city from school dropped me off and I walked off home. In general my walk is fifteen minutes straight down the road into my neighbourhood however today was a day for Celebration so I took a long-cut (the opposite of a short-cut, see?) to take the scenic route and head past the lake/pond/man-made-body-of-water. There were puddles and visible grass patches and chirping birds and a couple people biking or jogging… Autumn is my favourite season but Spring cuts it awfully close. I don’t think there are many nicer sounds than that of flowing water after months of winter. Today was a nice day =)

-B

“Everything is new in the spring…. Springs themselves are always so new, too.  No spring is ever just like any other spring.  It always has something of its own to be its own peculiar sweetness.” – Anne of Green Gables.

The Great E. Coli Scare of 2015

Well we can drink our water again. Wednesday evening it was announced that traces of E. Coli had been found in water samples from across the city to we were all on a boil-water advisory while they figured out what was going on. Today the second negative test came back so they’ve said Wedneday was false positives.

It’s nice to be able to use tap water again. I didn’t realise how much it effects me but I am very grateful for clean running water.

Also, it’s official now:

 

So that’s exciting! And tomorrow I’m speaking at a small school event so that should be interesting… Just finished my 10/15  minute talk…
HOPE I SURVIVE IT WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I LOOOOOVE PUBLIC SPEAKING!

Anywho, see you tomorrow after I survive. I survived The Great E. Coli Scare of 2015, I got this, it’s cool…
-B

This is Water

Now I know you may be busy, and you may feel like just reading something easy and that’s why you’re here but this isn’t a blog for reading today, it’s for thinking. It’s time to turn of the default setting and ponder this. Now I know you may not want to watch a video right now, but please, humour me, watch the video?


Did you watch it? Come on, please, don’t make me beg…

Why yes I do see that it’s almost ten minutes long. And…?

(Hey you, you wanna know a secret? You don’t have to watch it, you could just turn it on and just listen to the words! They’re the important part…)

Got all that? Wasn’t that great? Even before watching this I have been trying to do this, trying to be aware of situations and make conscious choices to see the better side of things, and it can be hard, I mean, I work retail, it’s hard when you are the manager-on-duty at the end of a long night and you have an angry customer yelling at you that your company’s policy is f****** messed up and do I know how much they spend at this store, and I should call head office and personally inform them of this customer’s dissatisfaction and have the situation immediately rectified, and then they walk out the door calling back “I’m never shopping here again, and I am going to tell all my family/friends/coworkers/strangers-on-the-street not to shop here either!”

And that happens. I’m not kidding! (okay, no one have ever threatened to tell random strangers not to shop at the store…) and when something like that happens it’s easy to just let the game-face fall and say to yourself, This is a crap day, people really suck sometimes… But I am working on consciously making that decision not to blame it on people, it’s my choice to let that affect me and there may have been outside circumstances affecting how that person treated me. It doesn’t excuse their behaviour but it does provide a reason to extend grace. Maybe they just got fired or have an unexpected bill due soon and the fact that I cannot return their item without a receipt when it’s over two hundred dollars in limbo is extremely frustrating! Most people don’t have money like that kicking around and if it’s been a long day for me, it’s probably been a long day for them too, they’re tired, I’m tired, and I’m saying no to them. I am delivering bad news.

I always try to keep that in mind when dealing with angry customers; for the most part, I am giving them bad news and I should expect a reaction, good or bad, I should expect a reaction. It’s not my fault, and it’s not their fault, it’s life and I get to choose how it will affect me.

I will close with words of wisdom from The Princess Diaries:

being affected

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t go on default, make a choice. (that goes for you too me-who-is-possibly-reading-this-in-the-future)

I’ll see you again tomorrow!
-Becky

Well Conducted Research

When I was little I remember someone told me (I don’t remember who) that after swimming lessons my nails would be longer. I’m not sure how they rationalized this happenstance but from that moment I believed that soaking my nails in water, whether it be by swimming or washing dishes, would make them grow longer, and I saw (what I thought was) growth after any time my hands were in water. Is this because I was predisposed to think that or does it really happen? I wonder now if these is part of the reason I never wear gloves when doing the dishes; am I subconsciously trying to make my nails grow faster? (the other reason I hate wearing gloves is my hands are too small for the medium size, but the small size fits length-wise but not width-wise for my fingers… Annoying little baby hands!)

Today, I want to see if this a myth. Does soaking your nails in water make them grow faster? I’ve gone to the base of all web-knowledge, google, to find out.

Google doesn’t know, it’s directing me to all manner of websites. Livestrong.com says that when washing dishes you should wear gloves because the chemicals in the soap may weaken your nails. Oops…
wikiHow agrees with the gloves-while-doing-dishes thing but it says you should soak your hands in milk to moisturize them and your nails! Seems like a waste of milk…

AHA! wiki.answers.com has a response for me! “Scientific evidence shows that when exposed to water for long periods of time your finger nails grow faster. The tough protein called keratin begins to form quicker because keratin is made of 67% water.” THEY DO NOT CITE SAID EVIDENCE BUT THERE IS APPARENTLY EVIDENCE!

And yet LindaRose.com says that soaking your nails dries them out and makes them brittle…

Wiki.answers, I cannot find this scientific evidence you speak of!

And through that well researched journey I have come to the conclusion that nobody really knows and I may one day need to conduct an experiment myself or ask the mythbusters to do one. Until then however, I may force myself to wear gloves…

Have you ever heard this or heard evidence for one side or another?

Talk to you tomorrow!
-Becky